How to Sound like a Local in Colombia
Are you planning to visit the beautiful country of Colombia soon? If so, here are some useful slang words and phrases you'll want to know. While this list doesn't include every Colombian slang word, it should serve as a useful foundation as you navigate your way around the country and speak with locals.
Me regala… = Would you give me…
In Colombia, when you ask for something, you say ¿Me regala…? This literally translates into Would you gift me…? It may sound a little strange asking someone to gift you a glass of water, but it’s a phrase Colombians use all the time to ask for favors. Don’t forget to add por favor at the end!
Rumba = Party
Colombians love to have rumbas until dawn. If you’re looking for a night of dancing, lively music, and mingling with the local crowds, you’ll want to know this word when you hear it. It is usually used to describe going out for a night on the town.
Guayabo = Hangover
Vuelta a la manzana = Go around the block
Parce = Dude
Parce can be best translated as dude or bro and is particularly popular among the younger generation. When used in the feminine, the only thing that changes is the article that goes in front of the word! You might also hear Colombians refer to each other as parcero or parcera, but this is just another variation of parce!
Embarrar = To mess up
Mamar gallo = To tease
The expression mamar gallo literally means to suckle the rooster, which seems a bit strange. However, you’ll probably hear it a lot because Colombians love to tease. This word is particularly effective when coupled with a witty comeback.
Berraco = Someone skilled in something
Hacer una vaca = To pool money together
If you and your friends are in Colombia and want to plan a trip together, this expression will be particularly useful. You’ll want to hacer una vaca to save up to take a road trip, go to a concert, or even rent a house out for the weekend in Anapoima!